When Joshua Wolf Shenk's book Powers Of Two: Finding The Essence Of Innovation In Creative Pairs was published in 2014, Michael Gerber, Devin McKinney and I each wrote a post about it. Since Shenk's book has come up in recent comments, I thought I'd bring those posts back to the forefront. You can read take 1 here, take 2 here, and take 3 here. Add your own take in the comments!
To me, Abbey Road is one of the least-dated-sounding Beatles albums—possibly the least dated—but it also sounds the least like the Beatles. Oh, there are Beatles playing on it, I’ll grant you that. The generally impeccable songwriting—that melding of optimism, expression, rawness, craft, and pure joy—could only have come from three particular songwriters. And that’s unquestionably John, Paul, George and Ringo strutting across the cover. But to me there’s always been something about this album that doesn’t sound like the Beatles, and it’s not just the super-slick production or the fact that Ringo’s drums sound a little thicker than they do on [...]
Courtesy of commenter @Karen (anybody know how I can link to her commenter profile?), here's a very interesting little snippet (possibly from LWT's "Weekend World," 06 April 1973), where John Lennon says a few words on Allen Klein, his soon-to-be ex-manager. As stated many times, John wasn't always so quick to admit when he'd made an error in judgment; he'd enter into relationships proclaiming their perfection—and, naturally, his brilliance for arranging them—and if they'd go south, he'd back out quietly. In other words, the guy was a human being. What's particularly interesting to me is how John seems to be very aware [...]
DEVIN McKINNEY • Warning—there’s a lot of rant here, most of it to do with Albert Goldman but some of it just my articulated flailings about the nature of biography and criticism, writers and readers. But Michael asked, I answered, this is our blog, and we make the rules. So strap on your poncho and feel free to skip around. Reading the “Drugs and Differences” comments, I took special note when the ghost of Albert Goldman reared its shiny dome. He’s so easy to despise and so difficult to defend on any level, but I’m always curious about the case to be [...]
Lucy O'Donnell as a child; Lucy Vodden grown up DEVIN McKINNEY • But not forgotten. Lucy Vodden, who provided the inspiration for the Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” has died in London. She was 46. Her death, after a history of lupus, was announced Monday by St. Thomas’s Hospital in London, where she had been treated for more than five years, and by her husband, Ross Vodden. Ms. Vodden’s connection to the Beatles dates back to when she was Lucy O’Donnell, a schoolmate and friend of Julian Lennon…